French Stocks: Areva, Club Med, Ipsen, Renault, Rhodia, Technip

France’s benchmark CAC 40 Index rose 35.09, or 0.9 percent, to 3,892.44 at the 5:30 p.m. close in Paris, the fourth advance in five days.

The following shares rose or fell in the French equity market today.

Areva SA (CEI FP) advanced 2.3 percent to 359.20 euros, the highest price since July. The French government and Kuwait’s sovereign wealth fund will carry out a capital increase for nuclear-plant builder Areva on Dec. 27, the company’s Chief Financial Officer Alain-Pierre Raynaud said on a conference call with journalists today. The company will also carry out a 10-for-1 stock split the same day, he said.

“All in all, the news flow could be finally improving,” CA Cheuvreux said in a note. “We expect more positive items going into 2011, while the share price discounts the existing difficulties.”

Belvedere SA (BVD FP) dropped 5.3 percent to 47.70 euros, the lowest price in almost a month. The company missed deadlines to repay bondholders, sell assets or reduce its management’s own stake under its bankruptcy recovery plan, Les Echos reported, citing a report by the vodka maker’s trustees, who the newspaper said will contact the commercial court and public prosecutor.

Club Mediterranee SA (CU FP) increased 4.4 percent to 15.60 euros, the highest price since October last year. The resort operator’s reservations for the winter season were 14.7 percent higher on Dec. 4 than a year ago, Chief Executive Officer Henri Giscard d’Estaing said in an interview with Le Journal des Finances.

Ipsen SA (IPN FP) dropped 1.9 percent to 23.95 euros, ending a three-day gain, as Citigroup Inc. initiated coverage of the drugmaker with a “sell” rating.

“Our primary concern is the about 10 percent downside risk we see to 2011 consensus operating income forecasts from the impact of European price cuts,” the brokerage said in a note.

PSA Peugeot Citroen (UG FP) rose 2.4 percent to 31.17 euros. The company expects that 100,000 electric cars will be sold within five years, Chief Executive Officer Philippe Varin said today at an event in Paris.

Renault SA (RNO FP) gained 2.2 percent to 45 euros, a second consecutive gain. France’s second-biggest carmaker expects its full-year sales volume to beat the 2005 record of 2.5 million vehicles, spokeswoman Caroline De Gezelle said by telephone. Gezelle declined to comment on a report in Le Figaro that the carmaker expects 2.6 million vehicle sales, citing Chief Executive Officer Carlos Ghosn. The newspaper also reported that the company is considering a medium-term operating-margin goal between 4 percent and 5 percent for 2013.

Rhodia SA (RHA FP) jumped 6 percent to 22.59 euros, snapping a four-day loss. Credit Suisse Group AG initiated coverage of the chemical maker with an “outperform” rating, citing “further sales progression and strong profitability.”

Sword Group (SWP FP) sank 12 percent to 23.26 euros, the biggest drop since at least 2002, after Oddo & Cie. downgraded the technology-services company to “reduce” from “buy.”

Technip SA (TEC FP), Europe’s second-largest oilfield-services provider, rose 3.3 percent to 68.12 euros. Crude advanced after a government report showed Chinese refineries ran at record rates last month, signaling oil demand will continue to increase in the world’s largest energy user.

Total SA (FP FP), Europe’s third-biggest oil company, increased 1.3 percent to 39.77 euros.

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